[Samba] Making Linux use nmblookup to transform names into IP addresses

S. Ali Tokmen alitokmen at gmail.com
Wed Apr 18 07:25:28 GMT 2007


The current network configuration is like this:

    * We have a few PCs with Linux or Windows XP
    * Those PCs are interconnected using an Ethernet network
    * The router to which all PCs are connected also acts as a NAT,
which allows access to the internet
    * The network doesn't have any DNS server (we manually entered the
ISP's DNS servers' IP addresses on each machine), NetBIOS proxy or
Windows Domain Server. All machines, except for the NAT, are simple

Under Windows, when I type a name in any internet application (web
browser, telnet, FTP client, ...) what happens is:

    * If Windows "thinks" that the name is a NetBIOS name (15
characters or less, etc.) it does a NetBIOS name discovery broadcast
(UDP port 137 I guess). Otherwise, I guess it asks for the name to the
DNS server.
    * When some other box receives this broadcast and sees that the
looked up name is his, it responds.
    * The two boxes can therefore communicate using names (instead of
IP addresses).

Under Linux, when I type a name in any internet application (web
browser, telnet, FTP client, ...) what happens is:

    * It always asks for the given name to the DNS server.
    * Since the DNS server doesn't have any idea about NetBIOS or our
network, it tells that the name is not found.
    * The application therefore says "server not found".

On the other hand, I've seen something interesting: when I use
nmblookup followed by the name of any of the machines, the Linux boxes
also do broadcasts and are able of finding the corresponding IP

My question is: is there any way to tell Linux (I use Fedora Core 6,
but I guess a solution with some other distribution can be applied to
this one) to use nmblookup for names that "seem to be" NetBIOS names?

Thank you

S. Ali Tokmen

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